This weekend brought to me a new sense of self and love. Not only the self of the little girl that was once left and then lost, but also the self of the woman. And the love of the little girl and the woman. The worth of the little girl and the woman.
I set out to reclaim the little girl. To neutralize the relationship.
I entered the country from the city with a sense of calm and courage. I had navigated myself 86 miles from the madness of the Windy City to the calmness of cornfields. I examined the colors as I drove and wondered what the weekend would bring. I wanted to enter into this weekend with courage, pride, love and self respect. I knew I was walking into the unknown, unsure as to how my father would react to my presence.
As the weekend unfolded I witnessed things about my father that seemed familiar of years past. There was a sadness in him. A distance. He struggled to maintain eye contact and conversation was generic. He would stay in the room for short times and leave quickly to retreat to the solitude he finds to be comfortable. As a young girl, I remember similar reactions from him. As an adult, I felt more of a sadness for the man that I saw struggling to be comfortable in his own skin. It became less about me, yet I was there to reclaim the little girl, to show her the worthiness in which she had felt she never had. I wanted to stay on course.
After the first two days, I figured I had spent about an hour in the same room with my father. I felt myself weakening in the pity. I made the same excuses I had for him my whole life.
With the encouragement and spiritual connection with a friend, I stayed true to the little girl. I held my courage close to my heart and I looked for the opportunity to allow my words to be spoken.
Late in the day on Sunday, he began to speak about choices, life and circumstance. I could the sense the sentiment in his voice. My instinct was first to diminish his words of attempted apologies. I stopped myself and let him continue. It was when he was finished that I had my chance. This is what I came for. I told him of the pain, the hurt and now the forgiveness.
My little girl self was there the whole time. She heard it all. Inside she was cheering the woman self on. I knew that my friend was encouraging me in spirit.
I felt satisfied and complete. My little girl self was content.
As I drove from the country to this city on my return, I accepted the sense of peace. The little girl that was left no longer feels lacking of love or worth.
I am grateful not just for the words that were spoken and the sense of self that I experienced but the deep and pure love that a friend extended to me.
That which was given to me. That which I received. And that which I can now give.
The sense of self for the little girl and the woman.